Investors may want to keep an eye on the biotech boom and these top biotech stocks to watch. For one, the sector is still one of the safest, most recession-proof investments around. Two, an aging population is demanding better treatment in an effort to live longer lives.
Three, there’s the incredible new innovation in gene therapies, immuno-oncology, precision medicine, machine-learning drug discovery, and treatments for unmet medical needs. According to BioSpace, the global biotech market could be worth $3.44 trillion by 2030 from $852.88 billion today. That being said, here are some of the top biotech stocks to watch today.
Axsome Therapeutics (AXSM)
The last time I mentioned Axsome Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AXSM), it traded at $62.50 on March 29. Today, it’s up to $70.46 and still running. Remember, ASXM has two approved drugs on the market and two others that it plans to submit for FDA approval this year.
The first is the sleep-disorder drug Sunosi, which it acquired from Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:JAZZ) for $53 million. The drug is a dopamine-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor and the only one of its kind to treat narcolepsy. Axsome’s other approved drug, Auvelity, is even more exciting from an investment perspective. It’s a fast-acting oral treatment for depression; also the first of its kind, launched in October. The drug reportedly takes effect within a week, while other antidepressants can take weeks or months.
CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP)
On March 29, I also mentioned CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CRSP), as it traded at $44.40. It’s now up to $54.29 and screaming higher.
For one, CRSP has been moving higher ever since the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) said its sickle cell treatment would be cost-effective if it’s priced below $1.9 million. Two, the company is running on news it signed a licensing deal with Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) to accelerate the development of a type I diabetes treatment using Vertex’s hypo-immune cell therapies.
Three, Cantor Fitzgerald just initiated coverage of CRSP with an Overweight rating and a $72 price target. The analyst says Crispr “stands out” as an “interesting” gene editing play for 2023, as noted by TheFly.com. Plus, the company has a “very good chance” of commercializing the first-ever CRISPR gene therapy later this year.
Sana Biotechnology (SANA)
While technically overbought, keep an eye on Sana Biotechnology (NASDAQ:SANA) on pullbacks. After running from about $3.25 to $5.64, it’s overdue for a near-term pullback. But keep it on the radar for the long term. Just last week, the company said SC451 – a pancreatic cell therapy to treat Type 1 diabetes – avoided allogenic and autoimmune rejections in mice.
According to Sana President and CEO Steve Harr, Science Translational Medicine published a paper “…demonstrating that hypo immune pseudo islets developed with our hypo immune technology survived and were able to reverse diabetes without any immunosuppression in humanized mice. Eliminating the need for insulin administration and reversing diabetes with normalization of blood glucose levels, and doing this without immunosuppression, would be a transformational advance for patients.”
Then, its SC262 – a hypo-immune-modified allogenic CD19-directed CAR-T cell therapy – was found to avoid immune detection and kill off tumor cells.
Nature Communications published a paper that “…evaluated the performance of Sana’s hypo immune (HIP) allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor T cells versus unmodified allogeneic (allo) CAR T cells. The key findings demonstrate that HIP CAR T cells significantly outperformed unmodified allo CAR T cells in tumor studies using fully immunocompetent, humanized mice in both durability of tumor clearance as well as CAR T cell expansion and persistence.”
On the date of publication, Ian Cooper did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.